Confession…I LOVE Fortnite! I love playing it (landed in a tree my first jump). Love watching our boys play it (“Mom…chill out.”).
And I’ve learned a couple things lately. Had my eyes opened.
1-Our kids feel a real connection with the real people they play with.
2-Our kids are experiencing moments each time they sign in.
Let me explain why this has to matter to us a parents.
It’s a huge thing for me as an adult. And it’s a “huger” thing for our kids. On Fortnite, they are playing with real people in real time. That’s a gift and a curse.
In response, we’ve got to guard them. Set up boundaries. Our family rule is you can’t play duos or squads with someone unless you know them. It’s been tricky. They’ve played “a man down” at times. But they’ve survived (not in Fortnite terms, however).
I’ve also seen our boys minister through this online connection. Not like preaching or praying for people. But I’ve seen them love on someone who’s hurting through a game. Through a partnership. And for a brief moment in time, I’ve seen the hurt forgotten in the laughter spilling out of their headsets.
It makes me want to cry.
I just finished the book The Power of Moments. It’s amazing how moments change us and how we can change moments.
When our kids play Fornite, they are having mini-moments in every game that ultimately accumulate in a big moment of gaming. And when these moments are shared with others, they solidify even more.
It only makes sense then that our kids want to play more and more because they are connecting with people in moments that we can’t naturally produce in our homes.
So then…what do we do?
I guess we could ban Fornite. Maybe we should ban all video games. (I’m not opposed to it.) But I also want to “weigh my ‘yeses’ so my ‘no’s count’.” And Jeremy and I have decided to give Fornite the yes for now so we’ve had to think outside the box.
Here’s where we’ve landed…
-We spend time playing Fortnite with our boys every day (or at least watching them). It’s not “the boys play Fornite.” It’s “we play Fornite.”
-We engage with them when “game time is over.” For now the boys want to be with us and we don’t want that to change.
-We talk about battles and dances and guns even when it’s the last thing we want to talk about.
I know. I know. We may be overthinking this. I also know that some of you think it is heinous that we even let them play a “killing game.” And it’s all fine. Really. I’ve learned that I’m responsible for raising my kids not yours. So we can all simmer down a little and be faithful to who God has given us.
I’m writing today mainly as someone who’s had a wake up call to the world of gaming. I’ve realized I can’t compete and I need God’s wisdom and help way more than I thought. And honestly, I’ve learned that our kids are still kids and they still love God even when AR’s and “new skins” are their main topics of conversation.
Breathe. Sit and watch. Maybe play a little yourself.
God has given us these kids and these moments. Let’s not miss them!
“…But that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed. For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for.” (II Corinthians 13:7b,9)
(Love these boys and their silly Fortnite ways…Side note-Stephen and I finally won duo’s last night…and I burnt the chocolate chip cookies because of it!)